Toyota Motor Corp’s Silicon Valley research department has acquired Renovo. It is an automotive operating system software company. Toyota aims to assist in the advancement of fully autonomous cars.
James Kuffner, the head of Toyota’s Woven Planet subsidiary said: “I am hoping to shave off years and months to our minimum viable product launches,” during a press conference.
The former Google robot engineer said that in long term, the company wants to create software and operating systems that other automakers would adopt.
Toyota acquires software firm Renovo
Toyota is engaged in a technological race with other established automobile companies like Tesla, Inc. and Amazon to develop automobiles that can drive without drivers and exchange information across linked networks. Even though they have some driverless vehicles available, their autonomous capabilities are still mostly confined to parking and driving on highways.
Toyota showed off its autonomous technology by deploying a fleet of driverless cars at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Toyota said that in an incident one of the cars collided and injured a Paralympic athlete. This shows the technological difficulties of creating self-driving cars.
The Japanese company wants to speed up the development of self-driving technology
The most recent acquisition by Woven Planet came after it bought Carmera in August, a U.S.-based business that provides real-time, high-definition maps and data for driverless cars.
Toyota launched Woven Planet in January to finance and develop autonomous driving with AI.
Toyota is also building Woven City, a “city of the future” at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, a community that Toyota claims will utilize hydrogen fuel cells for power and serve as a testing ground for autonomous vehicles.
This year, Toyota acquired Lyft’s self-driving technology unit for $550 million and invested in Ridecell, a company that provides automated transportation to commercial fleets.
A venture with SoftBank Corp, stakes in China’s Didi Global Inc and Grab, as well as a collaboration with Waymo, represent other self-driving partnerships.